A Frosty Hike Produces Clear Views of Helena Valley
A cold day, a windy day, but a gorgeous day and beautiful drive to Helena headlined the GiG hike to Scratchgravel Peak. Four gals left Great Falls and met up with Henny, who lives on Hauser Lake now that she and her husband retired and moved from Great Falls to the Helena valley.
As we headed up the mountain, even more social trails zigzagged up the sides of the peak, confusing the official trails; Susan chose one that Katie worried would take us around the mountain but not up it. However, Susan chose correctly, it took us first to a little knob and then around and up to the very top, even a better way than the true trail to the summit.
Along the way, we enjoyed scurrying up some boulders on the knob to gain some views and take a bit of a break before tackling the last elevation gain. We also saw many old mining digs. We did keep moving as standing still sent the chill to our bones; it was that chilly.
After enjoying an early lunch at the summit (we reached it by 11:15), we hurried down the trail, encountering quite a bit of snow in places and catching ourselves from falling on the ball-bearing type rocks on the trail. Luckily, we stumbled a bit, but no one fell. And again, we saw some huge holes, remnants from the days of mining.
When we were in sight of the cars, we met the only other person of the day, a man just starting up the trail. We arrived back to the cars at around 12:30 and back in GF by just after 2. Sheila stayed in Helena to visit her brother who had just moved to town while Henny drove back to her lake house.
Who went: Susan, Henny (Sue H), Debra, Sheila, Katie